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Textile Outlook International
Issue 143:
February 2010

Product Overview
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Reports in this issue
Editorial: Can Apparel Still Be Made Competitively in Developed Countries? (4 pages)
World textile and apparel trade and production trends: the EU, February 2010 (48 pages)
Survey of the European Fabric Fairs for Autumn/Winter 2010/11 (16 pages)
World Markets for Textile Machinery: Part 4--Dyeing and Finishing (30 pages)
Trends in world textile and clothing trade, February 2010 (68 pages)
Profile of American Apparel: US Manufacturing and Strong Brand Recognition Bring Success (14 pages)

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Profile of American Apparel: US Manufacturing and Strong Brand Recognition Bring Success
Buy 'Profile of American Apparel: US Manufacturing and Strong Brand Recognition Bring Success' now 14 pages, published in Issue 143, February 2010  
Report price: Euro 395.00; US$ 520.00  


American Apparel is a vertically integrated manufacturer, distributor and retailer of non-branded basic fashion apparel based in Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded as a wholesale business in 1998, and in 2003 it opened its first retail store and sales began to grow significantly. By the end of 2009 it was operating 281 retail stores in 20 countries. The company continues to run its wholesale business, and also operates an online retail e-commerce website.

In contrast to most other US clothing manufacturers and retailers—which tend to outsource production to countries with low labour costs—all of American Apparel’s manufacturing operations are in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The company promotes the fact that its merchandise is “made in the USA” and “sweatshop free”. Wages are therefore much higher than the global average and, indeed, the company claims to employ the highest paid apparel workers in the world.

Instead of competing on the basis of low wages, American Apparel uses its US manufacturing base, coupled with a strategy of vertical integration, to offer quick response times and higher quality while maintaining tighter inventory control. This avoids the problem of being left with unsold stock and having to sell it off at a discount. In addition, the company is able to replenish stocks of popular styles at short notice, and this helps it to maximise sales.

American Apparel has proved successful in a market dominated by competitors who have substantially greater financial, marketing and other resources—such as Gap, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Uniqlo and Forever 21. It differentiates itself on the basis of the fit and quality of its garments, the broad variety of colours and styles on offer, its imaginative marketing campaigns, and its ability to fulfil orders, large or small, at short notice. Using its core strengths, it has increased its sales rapidly. In 2008 alone its retail sales grew by 62%. But in 2009, hit by the US recession and the global economic downturn, growth in its net sales was minimal, and its net income declined. Nonetheless, the company remains optimistic about the future, and is hoping to return to significant growth in 2010.

Table of Contents
Profile of American Apparel: US Manufacturing and Strong Brand Recognition Bring Success
  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Core Strengths
  • Manufacturing Operations
  • Human Resources
  • Retail Operations
  • Wholesale
  • Online Consumer E-commerce Website
  • Financial Performance
  • Outlook

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Related Reports  
Product Overview   

Six times a year, Textile Outlook International provides up to 200 pages of expert comment and analysis. A subscription provides an overview of the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. It is essential reading for senior executives in the fibre, textile and apparel industries – and for anyone who is not involved in the industry, but needs to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues.
Reports in Textile Outlook International include:
 country profiles – providing a comprehensive guide to the textile and clothing industries in a range of countries and regions. The reports include an economic and political profile together with a comprehensive overview of the main issues, plus an outlook for the future.
 company profiles – giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others. Companies profiled recently include retailers, manufacturers, innovators and sourcing companies involved in textiles and apparel as well as smaller companies which illustrate the opportunities for firms which are interested in selected sourcing locations.
 trends in world textile and apparel trade and production – taking into account current issues facing the industry – such as global fibre prices; competition from China and other low cost countries; the elimination of quotas and imposition of selective new ones; relocation of production operations; the impact of economic factors affecting trade; international trade agreements; trade promotion agreements (TPAs); and much more.
 trends in EU and US imports of textiles and clothing – providing comprehensive statistical data and analysis of the top ten supplying countries to the EU and US markets. These reports are updated each year and contain value and volume data as well as average prices and analyses of trends for up to 15 product categories.
 innovations, technological developments, business development opportunities, individual sector analysis and political implications which affect players in the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. Some of the topics which have been covered in recent reports include: new innovations in the textile and clothing industry, such as environmentally friendly textiles, plant based fibres, and developments in textile colorants; innovations in textile machinery; and overviews of the European swimwear, hosiery and lingerie markets.
So whether you are involved in fibres, textiles or clothing – in manufacturing, spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, import/export, retailing – or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance, a subscription to Textile Outlook International will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Textile Outlook International is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 6 printed publications a year, containing a total of 30 reports plus editorials written by Robin Anson, our editorial director and in-house industry expert.
Electronic supplement
If you choose the printed and electronic option, you will receive an extra service. You will still receive each issue in printed format, delivered to you by traditional post.

In addition, you will be able to download PDF files containing the same information – but the PDF files will be available immediately on publication, so you don’t have to wait for the printing and mailing. You also have all the benefits of electronic files: instant access even when you are away from the office; convenient storage in your PC or laptop; portability; electronic search facility; and copy/paste facility.

This is what our customers say:
"Textile Outlook International is very useful for postgraduate/undergraduate students who are researching international trade patterns in the textile industry. The reports indicate specific characteristics of textile markets in the world, show the comparative advantages of countries and provide guidance for future investments in the textile sector."
(Beril Egemen; MSc student "International Trade and Logistics"; Oxford Brookes University, UK)